how can an industrial brownfield site support the health of a community?

KROC CORPS COMMUNITY CENTER

At the heart of many American cities, shuttered industrial sites riddle the urban fabric, leaving behind contaminated soils and unemployment. The Kroc Corps Community Center serves as a beacon for how to transform these challenging urban areas with high-quality facilities that are carefully designed to promote the health of the whole person, their community, and environment. Both programming and facilities were developed with a holistic approach to not just provide services, but to enrich lives; to not only reuse vacant land, but to heal it and make it productive. It shows that even neighborhoods with limited resources deserve the best design can offer.

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Using a comprehensive, sustainable landscape approach, our design dramatically transformed an abandoned, brownfield site into a dynamic community center set within an expansive, green oasis. The richly programmed landscape creates a hierarchy of activities arrayed around a central green. The landscape captures, filters, and reuses rainwater, restores native habitat, and supports urban agriculture. During construction, our zero-waste approach resulted in nearly all of the site’s existing pavements being recycled and reused on-site. Our work has demonstrated measurable ecosystem benefits that can be used as an example for the design and benchmarking of other urban brownfield redevelopments.

PROJECT INFORMATION

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Size: 13 acres
  • Role: Landscape Architect of Record
  • Services: Sustainable Site Design, Stormwater Management, Brownfield Redevelopment, Construction Documentation and Observation

PUBLICATIONS

  • Inga Saffron, “A minimum of glitter, but it’s a real gem,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 25, 2011: E1.
  • Mary Myers, “Multivalent Landscape: The Salvation Army Kroc Community Center Case Study” in Landscape Journal, 2013, 32:2.
  • Joanne Greco, “Body AND Soul Centers” in Planning, March 2012: 26-30.

AWARDS

  • 2013 ASLA PA/DE HONOR AWARD in General Design and People’s Choice Award from the Pennsylvania-Delaware Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, with MGA Partners
  • 2012 Pennsylvania AIA DESIGN EXCELLENCE AWARD from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the AIA, with MGA Partners